A Taste for Gold, Part 1
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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||ascertain, companionship, dispose, gauged, mountain-raised, repeated, tunic, reflection, butting, opening, text, butted, gryphon, courtyard, pointed, skewer
||Our Nemesis, King Kyros, Golden Nemesis
A Taste for Gold, Part 1
By Mary Lynn Bushong
1 "Ahh," sighed Nemesis. "There is nothing like mountain-raised beef. I don't know why you choose to spoil yours by hanging it in the fire."
2 Arion laughed. "I'd guess you wouldn't since you refuse to try some. It's very good roasted, by the way."
3 Since reaching his full growth, Nemesis the gryphon preferred to hunt live prey. The small mountain cattle were the perfect size for his appetite. As a favor to Arion, he let the boy take his favorite cut first.
4 Eating was a messy business. Once done with his meal, Nemesis glided over to a nearby stream. He glanced at his reflection for a moment before plunging his golden feathered head into the water. He shook his head and neck, scattering droplets in every direction. Then he repeated the process twice more before he was satisfied that he was clean.
5 He leapt into the air and was near Arion with two strokes of his broad wings. "Are you done with your meat yet?" asked the gryphon.
6 "I am," nodded Arion. "Just let me dispose of this." He tossed his wooden skewer into the low flames. When it had burned, he tossed dirt onto the fire until only a thin tendril of smoke remained. Next, he rushed down to the stream and washed his own hands and face.
7 Last of all, Arion picked up the message scroll. He gauged the time from the position of the sun and glanced through the text of the message once more. "We'd better get going, Nemesis, or we're going to be late."
8 Arion took his seat on the young gryphon's back just ahead of his wings and held on with his knees. Nemesis' leap into the air pressed Arion against the gryphon's back. The gryphon climbed high in the sky and leveled off. Then Arion was able to enjoy the flight.
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